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Author Topic: What happens to funds sent to invalid payment address?  (Read 3646 times)
GCInc.
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July 23, 2011, 09:53:38 AM
 #1

Well this is a real newbie question, for which I hope someone can give no-brains response.

Are the funds

1.) lost in limbo
2.) returned to the sender in some way
3.) not possible to send to previously nonexistent address

Thanks!  Grin

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spruce
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July 23, 2011, 09:59:06 AM
 #2

Lost forever.
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July 23, 2011, 04:27:54 PM
 #3

If you mis-type an address, often Bitcoin will catch it. There is a build in check that sees if the address looks right.
compro01
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July 23, 2011, 09:53:17 PM
 #4

it won't send to an invalid address.

it will send to a non-existent address, in which case the coins are fairly much lost forever. there is a (ridiculously) small chance that someone in the future will randomly generate that address and get some free coin through
bitcoins5411
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July 23, 2011, 10:02:43 PM
 #5

I think the solution to this is to always copy and paste. I wouldn't ever think of typing one of those bitcoin addresses manually.
BBanzai
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July 23, 2011, 10:03:01 PM
 #6

Its like fumbling for your house-keys and accidentally dropping a 10 dollar bill while you do so....digital cash is still very much like cash in some very immediate senses.
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November 22, 2011, 05:25:25 AM
 #7

There is a built in checksum in Bitcoin address.  The odds in mistyping an address and it being a wrong but still valid address are about 1 in 4 billion.

If you type an invalid address the client will prevent you from creating the transaction.  If you are running custom code and not doing validation it is possible to send coins to "nowhere" and make them lost forever.  Just ask Mt. Gox.

If you type a valid not wrong address then the funds will be sent there.  If by pure luck (odds are >2^210 against it) someone has a private key for that address they get your coins.  If not then those coins are lost (unless someone creates a private key in the future for that address which is so unlikely you might as well consider it 0.0%).
Beroper
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November 23, 2011, 06:51:55 PM
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i used to think in that case, btc will be refunded  Cry
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November 24, 2011, 01:01:37 AM
 #9

Refunded by whom?

Here is my favorite address you can use if you want to burn some Bitcoins.  If you send your coins to it they will be lost forever, just like the address says!

http://firstbits.com/1bitcoin = 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE




Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
frisbeedog13
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November 24, 2011, 01:32:26 AM
 #10

So if I re-built my machine, and made note of my address on a text pad, is there any way I can get it back?
BurtW
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November 24, 2011, 01:53:02 AM
 #11

If you lose your wallet.dat file you lose any bitcoins in it since you just lost your private keys.  The public address is just that the public address used to send bitcoins to you.  You need the private key(s) to spend/send/access the coins so be sure to back up your wallet.dat file before you lose it!

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
frisbeedog13
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November 24, 2011, 03:48:04 AM
 #12

Okay, one more noobie question, where would I find the wallet.dat file?
frisbeedog13
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November 24, 2011, 05:06:39 AM
 #13

Okay, thank you everybody for the help / responses.  It took forever for me to mine 1 darn coin, but at least now I know how the wallet works.  Secure wallet created.  Perhaps somebody would be kind enough to donate a coin that I lost in the void because I was dumb?

1ppF5n4mgdBtQwF8jxb79gZBRGanjXrg6

Thanks everybody!
Stn
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November 24, 2011, 05:20:59 AM
 #14

Don't you think that 1 BTC is pretty good deal as a tuition payment? Sometimes the Void charges much more.
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December 22, 2011, 03:41:44 PM
 #15

Hypothetical question: If there are 21 million bitcoins and multiple users send 7 million bitcoins to nonactive(bad addresses) wouldnt this drive up the price of the other 14 million coins since a third of the entire currency is out of "circulation?"
BurtW
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December 22, 2011, 03:48:47 PM
 #16

I believe so and I think most economists would agree.

However, whatever you do, never ask any economics question in the economics forum as you will just get page after page of people fighting over the definition of the term "money supply".

But, from what I have gathered there this reduces the monetary base and should therefore drive up BTC denominated prices.

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
bithobo
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December 22, 2011, 03:52:21 PM
 #17

Hypothetical question: If there are 21 million bitcoins and multiple users send 7 million bitcoins to nonactive(bad addresses) wouldnt this drive up the price of the other 14 million coins since a third of the entire currency is out of "circulation?"

If you make a huge bonfire and burn one third of the world's cash, what happens... hypothetically? Cheesy

Spare some bitcoin?
1Fw9ZHPEqKvPs3fcgx7My1Qa9qjF8WyCd6
BurtW
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December 22, 2011, 04:20:32 PM
 #18

Hypothetical question: If there are 21 million bitcoins and multiple users send 7 million bitcoins to nonactive(bad addresses) wouldnt this drive up the price of the other 14 million coins since a third of the entire currency is out of "circulation?"

If you make a huge bonfire and burn one third of the world's cash, what happens... hypothetically? Cheesy
The system will just create/print more?

With BTC once they are gone they are gone so it is not exactly the same thing.

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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December 22, 2011, 04:24:23 PM
 #19

The price would rise by roughly 1/3rd.  No different than if your bought 1/3rd of all the gold in the world and destroyed it (say shot it into the sun).  Demand would remain the same (maybe increased due to speculation), supply would be reduced by 1/3rd price would rise until it reached equilibrium.  The number of "full face value" units for Bitcoin has no real significance.

Satoshi could have decided to make block reward 50,000,000 coins and a goal of 21 trillion total coins.  Price for 1M coins would be roughly the same a 1 is today.
Alternatively Satoshi to be ultra-nerdy and make everything a fractional unit.    The entire money supply was one Bitcoin.  Block reward would be 0.000002381 each and the "one" BTC would be worth ~ $30M.

Bitcoin is somewhat unique in its perfectly divisibility.  Gold for example is difficult as a medium for exchange.  1 gram is about the smallest coin that is practical and it is about $50.  With very small coins the loss due to abrasion is higher (over time 1 the 1 gram coin will contain less and less grams of gold).  There would be huge cost in minting, issuing, circulating, validating, and replacing an economy based around 1 gram gold coins.  That problem doesn't exist for Bitcoin (or any digital currency, even digital gold).

warlordluke
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December 22, 2011, 04:28:02 PM
 #20

Hypothetical question: If there are 21 million bitcoins and multiple users send 7 million bitcoins to nonactive(bad addresses) wouldnt this drive up the price of the other 14 million coins since a third of the entire currency is out of "circulation?"

If you make a huge bonfire and burn one third of the world's cash, what happens... hypothetically? Cheesy
The system will just create/print more?

With BTC once they are gone they are gone so it is not exactly the same thing.

It isn't really a big thing.

If you like any of my posts and feel like tipping then send them here: 1EirY2h2qS8t1ocKmYcNkm9s3oZMJn2ota
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